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Looking ahead at 2020, I have been praying and seeking my Heavenly Father for a direction for the New Year

CENTRAL OREGONIAN - Ron HemphillIn the book of Mark chapter 5, it says that the disciples came to Jesus and began to tell him of all the things they had done and had learned.

Then in verse 35 we read, "... and when the day was far spent, his disciples came to him and said, this is a desert place, and now the time is far passed."

Of course, they were speaking about the end of the day, and dinner time was upon them. There were approximately 15,000-20,000 people present, give or take.

The scriptures say 5,000 men — many or most were married and had children. The disciples were in a dilemma as to how to feed them all.

They had  five loaves of bread and two fishes among them. Little is much in the hands of the Lord. He lifted those loaves and fishes up to his Heavenly Father, asked Him to bless them, then they fed ALL the people, then having 12 baskets of food left over. We have just finished celebrating Christmas, and now we are looking ahead at the New Year 2020. Some, maybe most, still have their Christmas lights or decorations up and soon will take them down. But, now what? What lies ahead of us? For me, I'm still trying to figure out where did 2019 go? I thought that this year 2019 would be a little slower for me and I would get a few more things done and maybe catch my breath, but it seems as though I'm still running to catch up. What does 2020 have to offer? In Acts 1:6, the disciples asked the Lord, "When will you restore the Kingdom to Israel?" And he answers them in verse 7, "It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the

Father has put in His own power." What does that mean? For me, I trust the Lord, some would say I have blind faith. Well, I do, but I don't walk blindly. I do trust God and I know He has my best interest at heart. I trust God, and I will continue to follow and serve him even if I can't figure out my next move. I don't wear a blindfold, but I do know he cares for me. Looking ahead at 2020, I have been praying and seeking my Heavenly Father for a direction for the New Year, and I believe he is speaking to my heart.

I will deliver that word, that message on Sunday morning January the Fifth. For you who are reading this column, I believe God has a plan and direction for you as well.  Tomorrow does no good if we can't live today. We are taught in the scriptures to live for each day. Yesterday is gone, can't really do anything about that EXCEPT learn from it, and tomorrow isn't here yet. We can plan for tomorrow but! Today, it is a gift the present. A gift from God to live in it, open it as a gift. I suppose it's kind of like breaking an arm.

The arm won't heal correctly if you don't stabilize it (cast), and you can't cast it until the swelling is down. As much as I want to know what tomorrow holds, I better make sure I am living for today. The disciples were being taught a lesson about trusting God for provision. They were looking at the masses and how could they possibly feed them all. Well, the answer is they couldn't. But through God all things are possible. Jesus knew he could call upon his Heavenly Father and ask him to bless what they had.

My wife amazes me. It seems to me she can make a full meal no matter the time of day, out of nothing. I go to the fridge or cupboards and look and see nothing. Of course, she tells me "You're a man. You can't find anything." Ummm. I suppose there is some sort of logic in that, but for the life of me I don't know what that could be, LOL.

Then she goes to the kitchen and in just a bit says, "It's time to eat," leaving me to wonder, where did all this come from? Christmas is past, New Year's if rapidly approaching, NOW WHAT?  In the book of  Job, he says, "Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him!" If you have read Job's life, he was miserable, his past was destroyed and while covered in boils his future looked bleak. Yet his trust was in the Lord,  NO MATTER WHAT.  

I don't know what the future holds, I just know who holds the future. My trust is in the Lord No Matter What! Turn to Jesus, and relieve your stress. He Loves You! Ron Hemphil is the pastor at New Life Bible Chapel. He can be reached at 541-447-6543.

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